HC rejects bail plea of woman caught with contraband drug

She was intercepted by NCB officials at Nizamuddin station

October 04, 2021 12:43 am | Updated 04:01 am IST - New Delhi

Sonia Shamrao Naik Goankar, who was caught with 600 gm of highly addictive drug methamphetamine — also known as meth or crystal meth, claimed that she did not know the contents of the bag given by to her by a Nigerian acquaintance. File

Sonia Shamrao Naik Goankar, who was caught with 600 gm of highly addictive drug methamphetamine — also known as meth or crystal meth, claimed that she did not know the contents of the bag given by to her by a Nigerian acquaintance. File

The Delhi High Court has denied bail to a woman, who was caught with 600 gm of highly addictive drug methamphetamine — also known as meth or crystal meth — at Nizamuddin railway station here saying her “clean and tidy track record” does not absolve her from the offence.

Unaware of content

Sonia Shamrao Naik Goankar, hailing from Goa who had moved to Mumbai in 2017 for a job in the film industry, claimed that she did not know the contents of the bag given by to her by a Nigerian acquaintance.

“An uneducated person may claim no knowledge of the substance found in his/her possession and may raise a defense of the substance being planted on them but being a highly educated person, there is greater presumption that carrying large quantities of narcotics is a crime and that it would entail consequences in law which could be harsh and irrevocable,” Justice Subromonium Prasad said.

As the quantity recovered from Ms. Goankar is commercial quantity, the court dismissed her regular bail plea.

As per the case report, on February 22, 2018, Ms. Goankar was travelling from Delhi to Mumbai by train from Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station when she was intercepted by officials of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on a secret tip.

She was informed of her rights available under Section 50 of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, and was given an option to be searched before a gazetted officer or a magistrate.

But Ms. Goankar waived her right under Section 50 of the NDPS Act and agreed for search by any NCB lady officer. She was then searched by two lady railway police officers but nothing was found on her body.

The woman officer then checked her baggage, in which, amongst other things they found a small pouch kept clandestinely. Inside the pouch, they found the crystalline substances in two plastic packets tied together in a linen cloth.

A test of that crystalline substance was done on the spot and it tested positive to be methamphetamine.

Ms. Goankar disclosed that she got the contraband from Moses Henry Onyendu when she was at the house of Charles Ezih, both Nigerians.

The NCB conducted raids at Charles Ezih and Henry Onyendu houses where large commercial quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine respectively were seized.

While Ms. Goankar retracted from her earlier statement, the High Court said that her disclosure statement led to the arrest of two Nigerian accused in whose possession narcotics was found. The NCB also discovered that these two accused were living illegally in India on fake passports.

Material on record discloses that Ms. Goankar is a part of a network which deals in supply/sale of narcotics, the court said, while dismissing her plea.

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